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 2017 Public Policy Platform  2017 Public Policy Platform Diagram
Florida Association for the Education of Young Children’s Legislative priorities:
  • The establishment of a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
  • The continuation of funding for Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program

Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)

Establish a statewide QRIS that will recognize and reward programs that meet higher levels of program quality so that consumers can make informed decisions about placing their children in early care and learning programs. Placement in these higher-level programs will better ensure that children enter school socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically ready to learn.

A Quality Rating and Improvement System should:

  • Allow voluntary provider participation.
  • Begin with the state’s child care licensing regulations as a foundation and build levels of higher quality upon this foundation
  • Adhere to the American Pediatric Association recommendations for teacher/child ratio and group sizing.
  • Recognize and reward programs whose personnel earn higher credentials and degrees.
  • Implement developmentally and culturally appropriate curriculum and classroom practices with regular program evaluations.
  • Provide funding to monitor and improve program quality.
  • Recognize programs that achieve the highest standard of quality as set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) by meeting the benchmark standards in their research and evidence-based accreditation.

Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK)

Florida Association for the Education of Young Children requests the continuation of funding to ensure that VPK programs meet the legislative mandate approved by the taxpayers of Florida. The Voluntary Prekindergarten Program was established through a constitutional amendment that mandated a high-quality statewide prekindergarten program, but did not define what a high-quality early learning program should be.

  • Indicators of high-quality early learning programs are:
  • Implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum.
  • Employ a lead teacher with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education.
  • Provide funding to facilitate the attainment of degrees and adequate and equitable compensation.
  • Evaluate and monitor the classroom environment.
  • Assess each child to determine developmental growth, not to indicate program quality.
  • Provide developmental screening and needed follow-up services as indicated.
  • Allow parental choice of full or half day programs.
  • Provide funding for parent education on the benefits and goals of higher quality programs.
  • Require training for administrators and owners of VPK programs on improving quality.